Survivor returns to Panama with an “exile island”

As reality blurred reported exclusively in November, Survivor will yet again head back to Panama when the series returns in the spring. The 12th season of the series will be the third filmed in the same location.

However, while he teased the new season, Jeff Probst made no mention of the show’s third appearance in the same location. Instead, he focused new twists, the most significant of which gives the show its subtitle, Exile Island. Here’s how Jeff described the new game element:

“Next season, Survivor travels to a stunning location with an all-new twist. In the , that will play into the game like never before. Each week, at least one castaway will be banished to this desolate place, separated from their tribemates for days at a time in one of the most unforgiving environments yet. Strategy will be turned on its head, and survival will take on a whole new meaning. And though this island will be a place to be feared, something hidden within its rocky shores may be the key to $1 million and the title of ‘sole survivor.'”

At Survivor Maps, Dan Bollinger has identified “exile island,” and has noted three separate tribe camp locations, which could indicate either a start with three tribes, or a third location for the merged tribe.

Probst also promised us that the 16 players “will be divided into tribes in a way never before seen.” Survivor Panama will debut in the spring, although it does not yet have a premiere date. Presumably, it won’t begin until after the Olympics, which will air through the end of February.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.